B. POLEVOI weight of his body upon it he placed one foot and then the "other on the snow and turned from the road, moving forward with difficulty but resolutely. 10 That day he did not even make a hundred and fifty paces over the snow. Dusk compelled him to halt. Again he picked out an old tree stump, piled dry brushwood around it, unwrapped his cartridge cigarette lighter, jerked the little steel wheel, jerked it again—and turned cold; the lighter had run dry. He shook it, blew into it in the endeavour to quicken the last remnants of gas, but in vain. Night fell The sparks that flew from the flint like flashes of lightning parted for an instant the gloom around his face. He kept jerking the wheel until the flint was completely worn out, but he failed to get any fire. He had to grope his way to a clump of young pine- trees, huddle up, rest his chin on his knees, clasp his knees with his hands and sit silently listening to the rustling of the forest. He might have dropped into despair that night, but in the slumbering forest the sound of artillery fire was even more distinct and it seemed to him that he was even able to distinguish the sharp reports of the shots from the longer booms of the exploding shells. He woke up in the morning with an unaccountable sensation of alarm and grief. At once he asked himself: "What was it? A bad dream?" He remembered: the cigarette lighter. But warmed by the kindly rays of the sun, with everything around—the slushy snow, the trunks of the^ trees, and even the pine-needles—shining and glistening—he took a less serious view of this misfortune. But something worse happened. Unclasping his numbed hands, he found that he could not get up. After several attempts to rise he broke his forked staff and collapsed to the ground like a sack. He rolled over on his back to rest his swollen limbs and gazed through the pine branches at the infinite blue sky, across which white, fluffy clouds, with curly golden edges, were hurrying. His body gradually came to, but something had happened to his legs. They could not bear him even for a moment.